Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Internet Explorer Options won't load in Internet Explorer 7

This is nothing malware/security related - but I'm sure it will interest people who encountered the same issue, or helped someone with the same issue.
So, for the uninterested ones, skip this section and read another blog. :-)

If I encounter Windows issues, I always want to figure out what's causing this, so I could learn from it. In this case, when you try to launch the Internet explorer options via IE > Tools menu, you get the hourglass, but nothing happens.
I've researched this issue via search engines and couldn't find a proper solution (most probably I've missed it).
This is not a policy related issue where the Internet Explorer options are disabled, otherwise you should get an error message.
The same is when you do this via start > control panel > Internet Options.
Also, when you enter inetcpl.cpl via start > run, (command prompt), you see the hourglass, but nothing happens.
And that's why I wanted to figure out what's causing this and how to solve it since this is actually a common issue in IE7 (since I've researched this via searchengines).
A solution I found was to replace the inetcpl.cpl file from the C:\WINDOWS\ie7 folder. So the inetcpl.cpl from the ie7 folder should be replaced with the one present in the system32 folder. It works, but doesn't make sense since the inetcpl.cpl file present in the IE7 folder is the previous version and shouldn't be used anyway.
Also, Windows Updates contains a lot of IE updates as well which patches the inetcpl.cpl file, so you should think that an update may fix this issue.... Well, it doesn't, since it's actually not an issue with inetcpl.cpl itself.
So, time to test what could cause this, launch inetcpl.cpl and see what other files are launched as well... and one of them was inetcpl.cpl.mui. This file is present by default in the %Windir%\system32\nl-nl (in case you have a dutch version of IE), or %Windir%\system32\en-US folder (in case you have an english version of IE), or any other language dependent subfolder there.
Reference thread here btw, http://support.bluemedicine.be/mybb/showthread.php?tid=2268&page=1 (Sorry, only Dutch).
And.. in this case, the inetcpl.cpl.mui file was missing.
I actually really had no clue that this could be the main cause, until I asked the user to replace/restore the file again and place it in the correct folder. After all, if you don't try, you won't know. And this actually worked! The Internet Explorer options could be launched again.

This helped in this situation, so not sure if that's actually the solution in general for the same issue (IE Options won't load - nothing policy related). So if anyone has encountered the same issue and above solution worked (inetcpl.cpl.mui was missing and you "restored" it), let me know. :)

Related Posts by Categories